My Favorite Spices – Let’s get spicy!
A few weeks ago, I was rereading a random post while looking for a recipe. The recipe called for dried dill. A reader commented that they didn’t have dried dill at home. Tanner, was that you? I can’t find the post again.
My jaw was on the floor. A life without dill is not a life I’d like to be living!
That got me thinking about my favorite spices. In no particular order, spices I can’t live without are:
- Fresh garlic (I used to buy the stuff in the jar, until I got the best garlic press ever made, and realized how easy it is (and delicious) to use fresh garlic. I’m so sad I missed out on fresh garlic for so long)
- McCormicks Montreal Steak Seasoning. Oh my goodness, we use this on everything! Ironically, I’m not sure if we’ve ever used it on steak. It is amazing on grilled chicken and grilled veggies. Eternal gratitude for my friend Elaina who turned me on to this.
- Smoked Paprika. Hot damn, I love the stuff!
- Good sea salt (I use Real Salt, or as Troy likes to joke like a jackass “not fake salt”), and freshly ground pepper.
- Kosher salt. Amazing for roasted chicken, awesome on top of homemade pretzel rolls, and on oven roasted veggies.
Spices I am pretty sure that I have never used:
- Marjoram. Never owned it.
- Curry. I.HATE.CURRY!!
- Saffron. Can’t afford it. Wouldn’t know what to do with it!
But more than anything, I want to know what kind of spices YOU love. I adore reading about your adventures in the kitchen! What are your favorites?
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Oh, nearly forgot – cajun seasoning, that’s our other favorite!
Old Bay Seasoning, is without a doubt, my favorite. On so many things, not just in seafood dishes. It’s great on grilled chicken, too. Garlic is another food group in our house. Our kids say they don’t like spicy? Well, then don’t eat it. Won’t kill ’em to miss a meal, in my opinion. I second the feeling on curry and saffron. Blech!
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cardamom (there is no better smell on the planet! In the winter I add this to cookies, cakes, hot chocolate, tea, sky’s the limit…)
ginger (fresh – hate the powder crap)
lime leaves (are these an herb?)
Thai 7 spice (although I can’t find this anymore 🙁 )
I make a dry ‘kashmiri chicken’ using, among other things, saffron. It just smells and tastes so amazing that every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it every week! Saffron water is also nice used in risottos.
I’m always surprised when people consider salt to be a ‘spice’. I can’t stand the stuff, which unfortunately limits my groceries to ‘from scratch’ ingredients! 🙂
Hmm. The top contenders would be:
ground green chile powder – mail-order from NM…omg it’s amazing
pickling salt – for popcorn and saltwater-treating apple slices
fennel seed – seriously, everything is better if it tastes like Italian sausage, right?
Thai basil – grew a ton this summer and dehydrated what we didn’t use – hopefully it’ll last…
taco and ranch mixes – popcorn w taco seasoning is just about the best thing ever
Berberre, a fantastic, spicy Ethiopian blend. Can be found at Penzeys, but my friend brought me some straight from Ethiopia when her granddaughter was adopted from there. Fabulous for Fish Tacos and Sweet Potato Fries 🙂